Dear readers, the inevitable has happened. Yes, I have fallen ill in Delhi. It was not however with the famous, and fully expected, Delhi Belly nor have I contracted typhoid or one of the various farm-animal named flu’s which are apparently so big in Asia. No, I travelled all the way to the exotic subcontinent of India only to be struck down with a cold, the most English of all ailments. I know this isn’t the sort of exciting news you’ve come to expect from this blog and can only apologise, although if it makes you feel better you could consider it my immune system’s way of displaying sever homesickness.
Anyway, after some prolonged naps and becoming acquainted with India’s answer to lemsip I’m over that now, back coaching and (obviously) blogging.
I had wanted this blog to be a triumphant post about how Ali and I had stopped mooching off of IYSA’s internet and managed to set up our own. However as I’m currently using the same data card, borrowed off IYSA due to not having the internet for ages(I’ll get to that later) I’ll split this entry into a couple of posts. I suppose I’d better start from where we left off.
On Friday morning we arrived at Moti Bagh only to be greeted by the worst fog we had seen yet in India, after Ali disappeared into it whilst standing about 10 metres away from me we decided there was no way we would be able to run a session and we were forced to call it off, disappointing but a lie in is never to be sniffed at! After a quick nap and breakfast at home we went back to the Literacy India centre in Mohmadpur for our second lesson teaching English. This time we were far more prepared, arriving with a number of English poems and nursery rhymes for the kids to learn, we started with ‘I’m a little teapot’ which we sang to the group whilst performing the accompanying dance before moving on to a poem about rain which Ali found on the internet. Despite a few dodgy moves by me and Ali after about fifteen/ twenty minutes most of the kids had enough of a grasp on the poem to recite the rhyme with the actions and we told them we expect them to have it perfect as we set it for our first homework! After the rhymes we moved on to some basic dialogue which could be used in a shop, the teacher said the kids found this really interesting which was great to hear! For the last twenty minutes or so the lesson basically stopped being an English one for the kids and became a Hindi one for me, after translating our English shopping statements into Hindi the kids dragged me around the room to pictures of animals and fruit, shouting out the translations and laughing at my attempts to pronounce them, I’m sure this was nervous laughter brought about by their complete awe at my grasp of their language rather than anything else. Despite their best efforts I left the lesson with only a slight headache and basically no improvement in my Hindi apart from one important word I used a lot, ‘Dhirey’ (slow). (Although I think dog might be something like Gata).
Later that day I had another session at IYSA with the under-14s not selected for the special group. This was probably the first ‘follow up’ session which followed the pattern Ali and I want to use for our sessions here. After working on first touch with the group last time I opened with a warm up in which we recapped the different methods of control touched upon in the last session (chest, thigh, foot) before moving on to work on using your first to create space and get away from a defender. This space recognition drill was one I had really liked during coach training and was a definite step up from the previous session difficulty-wise, accordingly the group were quite slow to pick up on the major coaching points to begin with when trying to manoeuvre their touch through a cone gate but when I added defenders so they could see how they would work in practice during a match their understanding improved massively and by the end I was extremely happy with their progress.
Our TV was also fixed on Friday, granting us full access to the frankly obscene amount of premier league football on Indian television and a range of movie channels just in time for the games on Saturday. Top day.